Author’s Note: Original lyrics to “I Can’t Wait to Get Off Work” are the property of Tom Waits.
Tom is working down at Bloody Mary’s Bar for Homecoming. He mostly keeps to himself while he sweeps up the floor and takes out the trash, but deep down inside that head, there’s a whole different story going on…
Tom wanders through the mess of people at the bar, humming along to himself as he does his chores. Suddenly he stops, snaps his fingers, and everyone in the room stands still. A long spotlight shines on him as he breaks out into song.
Tom: I don’t mind working,
’cause I used to be jerking off most of my time in bars,
[shot of Tom slumped over in his chair at Cleo’s]
I’ve been a cabbie and a stock clerk and a soda-fountain jock-jerk
And a manic mechanic on cars
[montage of Tom working in various places wearing various costumes]
It’s nice work if you can get it, now who the hell said it?
I got money to spend on my gal,
[everyone gives him a skeptical side-eye]
But the work never stops, and I’ll be busting my chops
Working for The Boss…
[shot of Andrew sitting at his desk looking handsome and glamorous]
Andrew: Yeah, that’s me.
Tom shakes his head and goes back to his song as he sweeps up the floor.
Tom: And I can’t wait to get off work and see my Betsey…
[shot of Betsey sitting in her apartment looking painfully bored]
Tom: She said she’d leave the porch light on for me…
[shot of the light outside a Betsey’s apartment flickering on and off]
I’m disheveled and I’m disdainful and I’m distracted and it’s painful,
But this job sweeping up here is gainfully employing me tonight.
Andrew: [points at something] Tom, do this. [points at something else] Tom, do that! [rushes to stop Tom from doing the next logical thing] Tom… don’t do that.
Count the cash, clean the oven, dump the trash…
Tom wanders away from Andrew as he carries another bag of trash out onto the patio. Tom looks up at the distant stars in the sky longingly.
Tom: Oh your loving is a rare and a copacetic gift,
And I’m a moonlight watch manic, it’s hard to be romantic
Sweeping up over by the cigarette machine,
Sweeping up over by the cigarette machine…
Tom performs an elaborate dance number using the broom as a partner.
Tom: I can’t wait to get off work and see my Betsey…
She’ll be waiting up with a magazine for me.
[shot of Betsey holding up a copy of Cosmopolitan Magazine with a sneaky grin on her face]
Tom: Clean the bathrooms and clean ’em good, oh your loving I wish you would
Come down here and sweep a-me off my feet, this broom’ll have to be my Betseyyyyy,
If I hurry, I just might get off before the dawn’s early light…
The musical number ends with Andrew catching Tom singing to himself by the dumpster. Andrew glares at Tom disapprovingly and shoos him off back to work. Tom rolls his eyes and continues humming to himself softly.